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Slow, Dirge, and Cheating Whores - 95%

Godcrusher66, November 24th, 2020
Written based on this version: 1991, CD, Roadracer Records

Personally, I think Peter Steele is one of the best songwriters in metal history. Even if you don't care for the primitive nature of the production, you have to appreciate the fact Steele pioneered a darker form of gothic/doom than what we envisioned.

This debut album comes right after the dissolution of Carnivore, which was Peter's angsty and edgy outlet for male centric machismo and adolescence. That's not a knock on Carnivore, I think they were amazing, but having read the biography on the life of Peter by Jeff Wagner, it makes more sense why Carnivore was Carnivore. Looking at Type O Negative, we see an important maturation that occurred at the right time.

Type O Negative's debut is a bleak and dissonant view into heartache. At times, there is raucous anger while immediately diving into a somber section of melancholy, hopelessness and despair. Perhaps Steele's well known penchant for failed relationships fueled much of the fire that Type O Negative relied on for success. You hear much of those emotions in Steele's unique bass tone, strong vocal performance and obviously the lyrics.

Focusing on the musicality of the album itself, we can tell that Type O Negative's debut and sophomore albums are a way to keep Carnivore fans around while introducing them to different styles within the same song structure. There is something anxiety inducing about a frenetic metal assault coupled with slow, dark dirges that make you feel as if you're actively falling into a pit of despair or an attendee at your own funeral. Let's not be facetious here and act like the lyrics to "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" are a work of philosophical discourse, but at least we know he's not afraid to call out that cheating whore in a song.

In later albums, we see Peter Steele's songwriting growth, as well as, personal progression mixed with constant strife. Mortality is always in the back of our minds, but some bands make us think about our lives and our impending deaths at the forefront of our consciousness.

You make me hate myself - 80%

allhailbobevans, May 6th, 2020

Slow, Deep and Hard is something of an outlier for the mighty Type O Negative. More often than not, a band's debut album features their core and classic sound and shows right away what the band is all about. For TON, this is not necessarily the case. Yes, this album features Peter's signature lyrics filled to the brim with self-loathing, misanthropy, heartbreak and pure hatred, but a gothic doom metal album this is not. In fact, the goth elements on this album are rather few and far between besides small sections of songs here and there (perhaps the somber moaning section in Unsuccessfully Coping...could be counted?). This is, first and foremost, a very angry thrash record. Sure, it has elements of doom and even sludge, with some parts of songs dragging along at a snail's pace, but all in all, the fast riffage and angry snarl from Lord Petrus Steele makes for a debut record with more in common with Carnivore than TON's later works. In fact, Slow, Deep and Hard is often jokingly and lovingly referred to as the third Carnivore album rather than the first TON album as it is most certainly a transitional album.

Slow, Deep and Hard could be considered somewhat of an autobiographical concept album. It chronicles vocalist/bassist/songwriter/gargantuan front-man Peter Steele's corroded state of mind after a past girlfriend cheated on him, resulting in a nasty breakup and later a suicide attempt. Lucky for us, after this failed attempt of taking his life, Pete was a new man, yet his anger lingered. Rather than trying to end his life again, he channeled his anger into musical form. Carnivore was done and now he had something to really be mad about, rather than the silly politically incorrect rage found on his Carnivore offerings. This album, song-by-song, further delves into the inner machinations of a broken man and his deep dark desires after the traumatic event of a partner's infidelity. Album opener "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" details the first chapter of this dive into depravity as the lyrics describe Pete catching his girlfriend cheating and his racing mind as he berates her for being such a whore and detailing his shattered trust. This may sound dark, and it is, but it is not without Pete's (and the rest of the Drab Four) classic dark humor, as these seething verses are interrupted by a minute-long moaning sample, finally brought to an end by Pete's woeful scream. Even the chorus itself is amusing, with a repeated chant of "I know you're fucking someone else" followed each and every time by a background chant, affirming this revelation. "Unsuccessfully Coping..." is the longest song on the album and it does a perfect job of introducing the general tone for the album - the darkest possible real-world subject matter brought to you in the form of silly lyrics and over-the-top graphic depictions of these events occurring.

"Der Untermensch" somewhat breaks the loose continuity to this album, as it instead rants about those who are too lazy to work and leech off of the government and, more importantly, the tax-payers for their source of income. Quite frankly a message that I find it hard to imagine that anyone could really disagree with, but due to the title (which translates to sub-human and also a term commonly associated with Nazis) and somewhat "conservative" lyrics it garnered immense controversy, especially in Europe, and many began to call Pete and the gang Nazis. A ridiculous claim, but nonetheless it accomplished the opposite of it's intention - it only gave the band more publicity, something that would shoot them to the forefront along with their breakthrough third album Bloody Kisses.

The next two songs, "Xero Tolerance" and "Prelude to Agony," go back to Peter's strife with his ex, as Xero Tolerance puts Pete's unadulterated rage into words as he describes how he has sharpened his ax just for her. and her lover Again, it's hard to take his death threats seriously as he excitedly screams how dead she is when he gets done with her as well as his drug-induced state during all of this, and this was the goal. "Prelude to Agony" follows in its' footsteps although with a much more disturbing proposal - raping his ex with a jackhammer. A mental image you may rather not picture, but even then the lyrics are just too silly to be truly concerned with the threat of this heinous act.

As I previously stated, this album's sound is rooted more in the brutal thrash of Carnivore rather than the beautiful and somber gothic doom of Type O's later catalog, but the ideas and blueprints are there. Type O Negative were always known to sprinkle silly and peculiar interludes throughout their albums, and these first reveal themselves on Slow, Deep and hard in the form of the humorously titled "Glass Walls of Limbo (Dance Mix)" and the accurately-named "The Misinterpretation of Silence and Its Disastrous Consequences." If you can't tell already, Pete and the boys have somewhat of an affinity for overly-long titled songs. "Glass Walls" is the longest interlude in the band's discography and is seemingly a mix of tribal chanting and groaning, chains clashing together and glass breaking. It's hard to tell what the rather ominous interlude means, if anything at all, and it is rather hard to sit through all six+ minutes of it, but it makes for a rather interesting listen. On the other hand, "The Misinterpretation of Silence..." is exactly as it sounds - a minute of silence. Once again it's hard to know why this was included - possibly it was a simple joke, making the listener think the album was over before going into the final song (on the original album).

Finally, we have "Gravitational Constant." This song wraps up the narrator's tortured thoughts as he finally completes what he's wanted to always do - kill himself. He's sought revenge on his cheating ex and her lover, this is all there is left to do. This song particularly really provides insight on what Pete was going through during these troubled times, as his painful lyrics humorously describe how he has no more reason to live or love to give. It also further adds to the notion that this really is autobiographical - it is what all went through poor Pete's mind after a failed relationship and giving love to the wrong person. He describes how he is aware of his previous failed suicide attempt and does not care if he "dies a thousand deaths" and has no regrets. He truly believes that "one more time won't matter, no question" and suicide is simply self-expression. This grim note is exactly where the album ends, unless you count the reissue's bonus cover of cult classic "Hey Joe," re-titled as "Hey Pete" and featuring more vulgar lyrics. Of course, this is a very fitting song to cover (and the first of many fantastic reworkings by the band), as it deals with a disgruntled lover killing his cheating girlfriend, effectively summing up the album.

All in all, this album is a fantastic start for one of the best and most unique bands to ever grace the metal genre, yet it simply does not showcase the band's signature and classic sound. This "false start" as well as the fact that there are only five actual songs on the album (not counting the two noise interludes and the bonus cover) is what makes me drop this masterpiece down a mere 20 points from a perfect score. While this album, stylistically speaking, is much gnarlier and heavier than what the band would later achieve mainstream success with (Bloody Kisses and October Rust, namely) it shows true potential for uniqueness, a potential that was met with ease and stride.

Prelude to Greatness - 95%

Petrus_Steele, October 26th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2009, CD, Roadrunner Records (Reissue, Remastered)

To this day and to the band's repertoire, at least four songs in Slow, Deep and Hard remained an important part of the band's early success, whereas the majority of their notable music is known from Bloody Kisses and October Rust, respectively. Before Type O Negative really matured and entered their gothic metal phase that includes, but not limited to the same themes that are used in their debut album, you start with a second-hand experience of sheer agonizing, depressing, deadly and psychotic viewpoints of Peter's saddest times way back when. With just five songs that really delve into Peter's past experience, they were written very well and showcased the band's finest compositions, in terms of the doom metal genre which I think it's quite rare for a new band (in this case, Type O Negative) to record something that has not only created some blueprints to some extent, but immediately revealed the musicians' talent and skill. Although controversial, it's still an important release to the genre/s.

The making of Slow, Deep and Hard is rather important in its historical components. After Carnivore called it quits and Peter was entering some really ugly situations; like dealing with some dude's GF or whatever, going to jail, wanting to hang himself (and that's all based from what I've read from Peter's biography book, as well as some people online claiming similar thoughts)... the man was really in pain and misery. Fortunately, despite his pain, he maintained and built himself back from the ashes. Knowing his relationship with Roadrunner Records because of the impact he generated during his Carnivore days, the record label wanted to sign him again, while he was in the wake of creating a new band. Since this isn't a piece of information which was proven to be true by both parties, nor was ever recorded or stated individually, I can only speculate that Peter and his longtime friend, Josh Silver were not in speaking terms after their first band, Fallout has ended. As it was already known, the goofy keyboardist (that's a compliment) was also a producer - and I'm sure he was pretty busy during the 80s. So now that all said and done, we've got two unfamiliar individuals and musicians which nonetheless, I'm sure Peter was personally familiar with already. The guitarist, Kenny Hickey joined the band, and so has the drummer, Sal Abruscato. And also still working with longtime engineer and mixer, Mike Marciano.

So great. The band is full and already ahead of their contract signing. However, the band name was the issue. Trying to start as New Minority, I believe that name was already used by a local band or a band somewhere in the country (or even outside of the country). Later trying out Subzero, that too was already taken by a local or a band from Queens. For the third time, Repulsion could've been the band's inception, as the record label already released pretty much the entire Slow, Deep and Hard record, categorized under a demo; None More Negative. But that was also already used by the Michigan-based grindcore band of the same name since the mid-80s. Ultimately - and finally, as Peter already got a tattoo of the band's symbol that was originally made when the band were destined to be called Subzero, thankfully the meaning still remained intact and even reinforced, as Peter covered for that damage by tuning into the radio station talking about type o blood donations. So he took that opportunity, reinforced the meaning, and it stayed. Thus, Type O Negative was born...

As for the musical aspects: the band tuned as low as B standard. Despite the doom metal label and the addition of Josh's keyboards and samplings, the band members - and for the most part just Peter came from a hardcore/punk background or the likeness to that music because of their local area and livelihood. Though this is not limited to the aspiration from Black Sabbath and The Beatles. From Peter's second Carnivore album, Retaliation, not only the distorted bass sound was ever-present and even a dominant sound of the band since, but those brief distortion sounds were present in this record as well, which resembles a lot of Carnivore's sound. Speaking of which, the strong doom metal influence in the band wasn't wholly developed just yet since Peter brought into Type O Negative some of the thrash and speed metal elements from his heyday in Carnivore, so there are some experiments here in there. This also includes the guitar riffs and Sal's drumming. The main direction was established in the making of the band's "opus magnum", Bloody Kisses. Hypothetically, Slow, Deep and Hard was supposed to be the third Carnivore record, judging on the overall sound.

Lyrically, I think what drove Peter to reflect upon his past as he started Type O Negative to go on with his life; the five songs on this album revolve around a heartbreaking relationship, the mere understanding of subhumans and their lack of productivity and contribution to society, killing a loved one, pain, and suicide. I think it's only fair but to analyze these five songs individually because of their deep meanings, not to mention their unpredictable, long and complex structures and extra song titles between the structural parts, as if each song narrates a story episodically, which goes to show Peter's great songwriting; a skill he was born with that he maintained, possessed, and perfected. And let's not mention the sexual penetration presented in the album cover; to perfect the black humor, hehe, as well as his distinguished vocabulary.

Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity begins with its first section titled Anorganic Transmutogenesis (Synthetic Division), revealing the first glimpse of the band, as well as Peter's vocals sounding a lot more different. The lyrics are mostly poetic, if not ironic, backed up by quite a slowed thrash metal, yet catchy music that transitions to a doom metal environment before an engaging guitar solo by Kenny. For some sex time, Coitus Interruptus is about two and a half minutes of sex with acoustic guitar and Josh adding in some atmospheric keyboard layers for pleasure. After the sex, Peter screams (and probably simultaneously cums) in pain of betrayal, or simply learning about the bad news. I suppose the main part of this song is I Know You're Fucking Someone Else. Lyrically speaking, Peter showed us exactly who's that slut, whore and cunt and how she operates daily in her sexual lifestyle. And during the (second?) bridge, it sounds like Peter speaks in third-person to himself, about trying better with that twat, but it just doesn't work. As for the music, it starts with quite the bang, as Peter opens that section about said twat the song refers to. Probably the most appealing groovy sound from the band. Josh makes the song even better by adding some bone-chilling keyboard layers. You can hear the dominant bass sound significantly, while the guitar mostly adds rhythms. There's a lot more distortion, while Josh switches to an organ sound. Sal has been doing a fantastic double bass behind the kit. Ending the song with an incredible guitar solo, while Sal adds more double bass layers - and there's also crowd clapping at the very end.

Der Untermensch translates to 'Subhuman' in English from German, and although Peter has already used the meaning back in Carnivore, this song is different. There's a great one-minute interview that Peter explains why his earnings go towards those that live on welfare or basically have to get everything covered for them without doing jack. It really inspired me and made me think alike because we all want to be somebody or at least do our jobs and contribute to society. Of course, it aims towards the people that CAN do something but they don't want to, not those that can't. Once again writing enlightening lyrics, the first section titled Socioparasite, Peter talks about what I said before; about people that don't to jack when they can. The second part titled Waste of Life which you might as well title the entire song as such, now we get to hear about addicts and unproductive people in society, as well as telling people to fuck off because they're privileged, while not contributing to anything, as well as they shouldn't be allowed to vote or have the same rights as working citizens have, and taking down the roofs of the home-relived rejects. Musically, the main part of the song is one of the heaviest. The song itself showcases more crossover elements, yet very doomy, while Josh adds keyboards during the second section of the song that gives a very arousing feeling.

Xero Tolernace aims towards hatred, anger, and rage that Peter probably beats himself for, later referring to the woman he'll kill tonight, so to speak. If I'm not mistaken, this is also in reference to killing the one that betrayed him and then killing himself - but I'm sure it's just a harsh concept. This covers both sections of the song: the former titled Type "A" Personality Disorder while the latter titled Kill You Tonight (however, this second section is the majority of the song's substance), which is practically the name of the song. In the beginning, you hear some scary samples and chainsaw and/or drills in the background. Even the heavy music made quite the horror atmosphere like it's a movie. That's pretty much the chorus. But all that doesn't come to fruition, as the band takes us into yet another thrashy and groovy musical experience during the first two minutes of the song. There's a lengthy prelude to the actual song's main section, where Josh adds samples written by J.S. Bach. As the song progresses, well... this isn't something words can express. Instrumentally, the song went full-swing groove metal (not in a bad way) with more keyboard layers. When that section repeats itself once more, the song goes back to the chorus and ends with Kenny playing acoustic guitar again, titled in the final section, Love You to Death (not to be confused with the retitled song on October Rust).

Prelude to Agony can be paired with Der Untermensch for simply showcasing the most substance on this album, on an underrated scale. Featuring the most doom metal musical aspect, its comparable length with the first track and divided by four separate sections, you could argue this song probably has the most to offer. Simply The Truth, which is the first section of the song, begins with a simple, but immense distorted bass lines that later the rest of the band jumps in and created what was meant to be the intro for the first track, as you can tell by the live performances later on in the band's career. God Love Fire Woman Death is an infamous section that consists philosophical outlook of the comparison between bad women and fire that results in death, as the music follows with a lot of catchy riffs and drumming. That section's outro I would say is more in the gothic direction because of the keyboard layouts, as Peter realizes love leads to life, life leads to pain, and pain leads to death. Now most fans probably know about Pain, which is the main section of the original song that I think the band has always performed after they hit the mainstream, though it's rather titled Jackhammerape. For the most part, it's one of the band's best thrash metal substance that also features even more doom metal elements in the chorus. It's also philosophical in the sexual sense. After this is repeated, the song progresses to its outro section, Pain (Is Irrelevant). It's long, gloomy, and electrifying, featuring some screaming to perfect the atmosphere, while the music sounds like pure doom style Black Sabbath.

Gravitational Constant: G = 6.67 x 10⁻⁸ cm⁻³ gm⁻¹ sec⁻² (yeah, the latter calculated part of the title is rather long) is alternatively known as Gravity: it's about how Peter states his unjustifiable existence; gravity crushing him, to the point he proclaims "suicide is self-expression". Starting with the first two minutes in the first section, Unjustifiable Existence and also including its repeat in the second section, Acceleration (Due to Gravity) Equals 980cm-^2/sec (preceded by a slow, atmospheric "breakdown" and continues to the third verse, so to speak) complies with even more catchy guitar riffs and bass, while the chorus arguably has the best sing-along. The song, in general, is one of the most creative and complex song structures I've ever read. Then there's a minute of an interlude, of Peter screaming in agony during the third section, Antimatter: Electromechanical Psychedelicosis, which then starts the song's final section; in a less physics-metaphorical way but more philosophical yet again in Requiem for a Soulless Man. This is easily the most underrated substance the band has ever written. It's empowering compared to their more known musical aspects; something that I don't think Josh ever beat when it comes to his atmospheric delivery.

There's no denying that this album is perfect - or at least to me. However, two pointless tracks stopped it from reaching perfection. The first one is the gloomy/doomy and industrial instrumental track, Glass Walls of Limbo (Dance Mix). Interpreted by The Bensonhoist Lesbian Choir which is literally the band members, they - again literally, choir. The choirs aren't actually bad, but there's just no way you're going to listen to an almost seven-minute instrumental track that repetitively choirs. As for the second track, The Misinterpretation of Silence and Its Disastrous Consequences is literally a muted track, which I've read its intention was to "jump scare" the listener right when the last song on the album starts, if one were to turn up their volume all the way up. The reissue version of this album features the ORIGINAL Hey Pete (Pete's Ego Trip Version), and unbeknownst was recorded before the "live" version that everyone is so familiar of from The Origin of the Feces (Not Live at Brighton Beach). Like 97% of the original version sounds like the "live" version except it doesn't sound live. And yes, it sounds as good as the aforementioned version.

I'm not sure how many words can really express the art and mastery of this album - and mind you how hated Type O Negative were in Europe when they just started, to the point their sense of humor wasn't comprehended well enough that it was worth killing them. Imagine what would've happened if they were banned in Europe... So Slow, Deep and Hard isn't your average metal record. It encompasses a fusion of thrash metal and doom metal, as well as keyboards and samplings that showcase lengthy songs with a lot of experiments behind them including variety. We can argue for infinity that there's no best song on this album, but if there's truly one song that is, it would have to be Der Untermensch. Not only it's daring and underrated, but it contains some of the best substances Type O Negative has ever composed.

Agony and ecstasy - 93%

Napalm_Satan, July 25th, 2019

Slow, Deep and Hard is an odd place for Type O Negative to start out, as it's honestly not a whole lot like what would end up putting the band on the map. Rather, this listens more like the last Carnivore album - while there are certainly elements to the music here that weren't present in Carnivore's music (ones that would end up on Bloody Kisses) this still has a lot of influence from those old albums and the feel of it is certainly much more in line with them too. It isn't so much a bridge between the two bands as even with these extra influences its closer to Carnivore than anything TON would put out, but in retrospect the indication of a new direction is certainly there.

Of the 6 actual compositions here, 5 of them are towering, mighty epics with multiple distinct sections to them. The simplest way to describe them are lengthy feedback-inflected doom metal numbers with thrash metal/crossover sections spliced in, along with strong goth overtones due to the presence of keyboards and more melodic riffing. Thrash was obviously the backbone of Carnivore's sound, doom metal isn't a foreign influence (several tracks across their catalogue played around with it) and even the rare acoustic break here doesn't feel that dissimilar to the one in 'Male Supremacy', but with this release the thrash and doom (the latter sometimes spiced up with goth influence) are in equal parts the core of this album's sound. It's as if every element present in their sound beforehand has been extended out and turned up to 11; the occasional gloomy doom passage is now the bulk of each track, the thrash sections are even angrier and more blood-pumping than before and what few tender, melodic moments there were are now found at various key points throughout each song, with keyboards being there to help emphasise them.

Critical to this blend of ideas are the performances themselves, which are excellent. The drumming is unobtrusive but still creative and inventive, managing to keep the beat and throwing in a good few fills and double bass sections while not subtracting from the meat of the album; the guitars and vocals. The thrash riffs here don't feel at all stale despite this album's 1991 year of release because Carnivore were one of the progenitors of that NYHC-flavoured crossover thrash style; and indeed none of them would feel out of place on a Carnivore album, being lethally aggressive and memorable. The slower doom metal passages are great too; the more atonal moments such as those found in 'Der Untermensch' are heavy and oppressive, hitting as hard as the earliest sludge metal bands that were getting started around the time. The more melodic moments backed up with keyboards are a nice touch of variation and give the album a lot of character, and while the keys here aren't as lush as they'd be on later albums Josh Silver still does a lot with a little. This is especially evident on 'Unsuccessfully Coping...' and 'Prelude to Agony', which both take on the larger-than-life quality of something like 'Bloody Kisses' at points especially combined with the vocal delivery, the latter having always been Carnivore's and TON's trump card. Pete's vocals here are as captivating and distinctive as the always were and would be. He mixes up his hardcore punk-tinged bellowing during the thrash sections with more tonal work to fit the more melodic sections, and is backed up by gang vocals at various points to great effect ('I know you're fucking someone else!' and 'Waste! Of! Life!' are truly legendary moments.) He even starts to incorporate goth-tinged bass-baritone singing that would become a staple of later TON albums, most notably on 'Prelude to Agony'. His position here as a very flawed narrator is pulled off very well; he truly comes across like a troubled, deranged and sick person. Whatever style he shoots for he always manages to pull off with amazing conviction, and whatever emotion the lyrics are trying to convey he always delivers.

What really separates this from TON's later albums is the general atmosphere, one that results from how well the band work as a unit and how evocative the music manages to be as a whole - even at its most goth rock-infused this doesn't have any of the dry, dark, tongue-in-cheek goth vibes of Bloody Kisses or the romantic, lovey-dovey feel of October Rust. Instead, the vibe throughout is a really ugly and dark one, which ties into its concept of murdering one's lover due to infidelity and then taking one's own life out of guilt over the act. The feel is much more in line with Carnivore's deliberately offensive schtick than anything that would follow and the sheer bitterness and hatred on display here is something to behold. The more keyboard-y sections recall those later TON albums a bit more, but the doom sections are crushing, droning and gloomy (and at times bring to mind World Coming Down) while the thrash sections are no-holds-barred bursts of anger. This atmosphere is a big part of why this album works as well as it does, as the songs here are honestly abrupt collisions of crossover/thrash and doom/goth with no real progression between them. Rather than coming across like an incoherent and jumbled mess however, the songs listen more like emotional roller-coasters full of twists and turns, ones that consistently keep the listener guessing as Pete tells his depraved tales of murder and suicide. The music shifts tone with the lyrics perfectly, with the murderous 'Prelude to Agony' being the darkest and most crushing song here and the final track 'Gravitational Constant...' being a slab of pure, morose goth/doom to fit its themes suicide ideation.

There are a couple of questionable outliers in the track list that are worth mentioning - 'Glass Walls of Limbo (Dance Mix)' is a little under 7 minutes of gloomy industrial noise which is underpinned by a singular metallic clattering beat while numerous layers of non-lyrical vocalisations and chants get worked into it. While it's a pretty interesting mood piece it breaks up the flow of the album somewhat, and given that these sounds are nowhere else to be found on the album it listens like a strange stylistic detour that doesn't lead to anything or advance the narrative of the album. 'The Misinterpretation of Silence...' meanwhile starts a long tradition of humorous interludes on TON albums, and it's literally 64 seconds of silence. It's hard to hate a blank canvas but there's no joke here at all; it flat out did not need to be here. All this said however, this is still a timeless and one-of-a-kind debut that only Pete and the boys could have come up with. Any fan of metal should listen to this at least once; it’s truly one of the greatest and most unique albums in metal, and an amazing start for an amazing band.

A Beautiful Story about Killing your Ex - 95%

Gothic_Metalhead, January 18th, 2019
Written based on this version: 1991, CD, Roadracer Records

The Ultimate love story about killing your ex-girlfriend, Type O Negative (formed shortly after the disbandment of Peter Steele's previous band Carnivore) enters the Brooklyn metal scene angry with this almighty debut album "Slow, Deep and Hard." It was the album that was inspired by Peter Steele's experience with his longtime girlfriend who ended up cheating on him. This of course leads with Steele making what is considered to be a concept album. The thing that most people don't realize about "Slow, Deep, and Hard" is that its one of the first gothic metal albums released, only being beaten by Paradise Lost "Gothic" a few months earlier. Unlike Paradise Lost, Type O Negative use their wit, inspirations from its previous band and 80s post-punk and made it into something dark, deep, and atmospheric unlike any metal album was ever released for its time. After listening to the entire "Bloody Kisses" album back when I was 16, I decided to try out "Slow, Deep, and Hard" next, and I loved it. Back then I was still into thrash metal and I got into the album because it also had a lot of thrash elements in it. I always say this album is the first and probably only album that perfected the combination of gothic and thrash metal. To this day, the album still holds up as one of the most underrated debut album's by a metal band.

The album cover of "Slow, Deep, and Hard" shows that the band is showing off it's humor and establishing what the listeners are expecting when they are about to pop that CD into the player. At first glance I mistake the album cover was a picture of a poorly drawn whales tale, but after doing research at the time, it was actually sexual penetration blurred out. So the album cover itself is more in your face personal as opposed to in your face blood and gore. It's a smart way to show imagery in this way to give an idea about the concept of an album that reflects the tone of the music.

"Slow, Deep and Hard" starts off with the angry thrashing tone and mouthful of a song name "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity." It sets the tone of the album as very angry in aggression through the crushing chords of Kenny Hickey and the very church like in dark atmosphere of Josh Silver's Keyboard playing. As the album goes on, it remains those same moods without losing originality through songs like "Der Untermensch" and "Xero Tolerance." Another dark highlight on this album is "Prelude to Agony" a 12 minute Song filled with thrash, darkness, and Black Sabbath inspirations (the end of the song has a riff noticeably heard from "Iron Man"). To establish the bands ongoing dark humor it also includes haunting instrumentals "Glass Walls of Limbo (Dance Mix)"and "The Misinterpretation of Silence and it's disastrous Consequences" the latter of which is just complete silence to imply that the album had ended or symbolize the end climax of the concept album. While Type Of Negative would go on to become more melodic in there later career, "Slow, Deep, and Hard" shows the band at its rawest and punishing throughout it's album.

As mentioned, "Slow, Deep, and Hard" is a concept album based on Peter Steele's experience of seeing his girlfriend cheat on him, which is being heard in the entire album through it's lyrical themes. The 1990s wasn't just the decade where metal lyrics are starting get more brutal, but it was also personal. Peter Steele's experience has turned "Slow, Deep, and Hard" lyrical content into a concept record, and was tackling topics untouched in metal at the time. "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" talks about Peter catching his girlfriend cheating, "Der Untermensch" is about how much Peter's turned ex is useless, "Xero Tolerance" is the preparation of murdering Peter's ex, leading to the climax of "Prelude to Agony" with Peter killing his ex through what the song was talking about "Jackhammer Rape", and "Gravitational Constant..." talks about Peter planning to kill himself. The lyrics are in deed very deep and more in your face in terms of realistic feelings. While gore would have been described in the album much like death metal, this album uses more personal feelings to make an album more depressing and aggressive at the same time. I also get the feeling that "Glass Walls of Limbo (Dance Mix)"is giving dark and creepy ambient loops to symbolize in the album Peter dragging his ex-girlfriends dead body while humming in sadness. The lyrics to "Slow, Deep, and Hard" are maybe somewhat simple, but it offered something new to metal music and gives a new area of topics to talk about more personally, and to this day theirs never been a more in your face lyric then "I Know your fucking someone else!"

Overall, "Slow, Deep, and Hard" is Amazing. Its an album that I feel will appeal to a lot of metal fans like doom metal, thrash metal, gothic metal, or just fans of Peter Steele's old band Carnivore. While the music is reminiscent of Peter Steele's previous band due to its thrash metal elements, this was a direction Peter Steele and crew would continue to make and later perfect in later years. It is definitely dark, church sounding sometimes, and hell of a lot personal in many levels. While Type O Negative would go on to make better albums in the albums, this album remains in the vault for me in my top three favorite Type O Negative albums.

A perfect blend of doom and thrash - 90%

Under A Funeral Moon, June 20th, 2016

Type O Negative were a doom/gothic metal band from Brooklyn, NY. This is their debut, the one that started it all, a band that would go on to have international recognition and sell a few million records, before their untimely end in 2010 with the death of frontman Peter Steele. While later on in their career Type O Negative developed a pretty distinct doom metal type sound, this record still reeks of the hardcore punk/thrash style of lead singer and bassist Peter Steele’s previous band Carnivore.

This record is full of long, doom-y, sludgy songs, many of which have multiple breaks that are much faster and sound akin to the hardcore punk stylings of bands such as Minor Threat or Verbal Abuse. This is a pretty unique thing, one I much appreciate. No bands come to mind prior to Type O Negative that blended these doom and hardcore sounds, apart from Steele's previous band, Carnivore.

Overall, the instrumentation is simple yet effective. The guitars, courtesy of Kenney Hickey, go from slow, doom inspired riffs, to fast power chord driven punk or thrash. There are also a couple of shredding sort of solos in here, see "Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" for an example of this. The drums on this one were performed by a live drummer on this record, something that Type O would nix on some future releases. Sal does a great job of keeping the pace with both the slow sections of the songs and the faster ones. This album really helps show his versatility as a drummer. Peter's basslines often keep with Kenney's riffs, however this isn't true 100% of the time as they do change from time to time. The bass is very present in the mixing of this record, you don't have to strain your ears trying to hear it. However, it isn't overly prominent, either. The vocals were also provided by Peter, sometimes being harsh shouts and screams, and sometimes being much cleaner and melodic. They fit the music well, and are always easy to understand.

I think it’s important to talk about the lyrics on this one - because they are fantastic. The lyrics were written in just one night, apparently following a rough breakup and attempt at suicide by Steele. As you might guess, these events are reflected in the lyrics. They’re all about the lust for revenge, hatred, self-loathing, and the desire for death that could follow in the wake of a breakup caused by a partner's infidelity. They’re written very, very well - some of my favourite lyrics come from this record. There is a prominent element of black humour in his lyrics, and this would become a staple in future Type O Negative songs. (See: Angry Inch from "Life is Killing Me" for a perfect example of this.)

All in all, this is an incredible record. It radiates emotions of hate and loneliness, portraying them through violent and vulgar lyrical content and long, heavy, musical passages that can change on a dime to be faster and harsher.

One of the angriest, most hateful albums in music. - 100%

SwampSlimer, September 20th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1991, CD, Roadracer Records

Back in 1991, Petrus Ratajczyk (better known to the world as Peter Steele) was a very angry man. That much was evident - to his past in Carnivore, a band who seemed to make it their life's purpose to aggravate absolutely EVERYBODY, to dealing with a relationship in which the woman had been unfaithful and finally, a failed suicide attempt. This led to the creation of a new band, Type O Negative (previously known as Repulsion and Sub-Zero) and the debut album Slow, Deep and Hard.

The best way to describe this is that it’s a cross between the sound of Carnivore (who were themselves a mixture of thrash, hardcore and doom) and the more gothic and melodic sound that Type O later became famous for. The songwriting is much more sprawling and disjointed than the albums that followed: tempos abruptly shift from furious speed to crushing doom in an instant, riffs churn and grind against the rhythm section, Josh's horror-themed keyboards augment the sound and render it much more sinister, while Peter's vocals roar over the top of it all, employing the same angry growl he utilized with Carnivore, and his fuzzy, distorted bass tone give the songs backbone, along with Sal's drumming.

These are lengthy songs, with the shortest clocking in at 6:44, while two of them are over twelve minutes. I get the feeling that this album wasn't really designed to be memorable or pleasing, as such – more the product of a negative stream-of-consciousness, as opposed to a verse, chorus, verse style. There is an incredibly unfriendly atmosphere of anger, pain and oppressiveness here, helped by the production, which has a very dark, almost industrial feeling to it, especially Kenny's guitar sound, which, as with all Type O Negative, has a very textured, glassy and sharp sound, but never more so than here. As a result, the drums stand out all the more - Sal has a very natural tone to his drums, which is an interesting juxtaposition against some of the martial-sounding, pounding techniques at work here.

With that being said, one of the most incredible things about this album is how catchy some of these songs manage to be, almost in spite of themselves. The opener and longest track "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity" will get stuck in your head with its angry and hysterically offensive chorus of "I know you're fucking someone else! He knows you're fucking someone else!", sounds of a woman moaning in orgasm (which match the album artwork - a green-hued, fuzzily distorted close-up photo of coitus) and a calmer, quieter section with effective keyboards and deep, clean vocals from Peter, which are very rarely used as opposed to the band's subsequent albums, but when they are employed, help to give the doom parts that much more weight and effectiveness.

The lyrics present tell a story: Peter describes the discovery that his partner has been cheating on him (with the subsequent rage and sense of betrayal that results), killing her and her new partner, and finally killing himself. The outlier here is "Der Untermensch" which is probably the most Carnivore-sounding track, both in music and lyrics which feature a Carnivore-style gang chorus of "socioparasite!" and lines like "waste of life!" The song is a diatribe against illegal immigrants and political correctness, which earned Type O Negative an absolutely massive amount of controversy in Europe at the time, with the Antifa and leftists everywhere up in arms over the band's perceived racism and right-wing views on immigration and welfare.

"Xero Tolerance" and "Prelude to Agony" are an excellently matched pair of songs - the former with an unhinged, psychotic feel of stalking prey (the prey in this case being Peter's former lover and her new lover as they cavort on the sand) and Peter yelling "And now... you die!" before going into an upbeat, punkish, ridiculously catchy section as he hopes they have enjoyed each other before killing them, while the latter is the harshest song on the album, feeling extremely, torturously long and crushing, while describing the pain of jackhammer rape and Peter's mocking scorn, and an absolutely chilling section of doom with the lyrics declaring that "love is life, life is love, love is pain, pain is death" before stating that "pain... is irrelevant."

The two instrumental tracks are strange - "The Misinterpretation of Silence and Its Disastrous Consequences" is just a minute of silence (there's that Type O sense of humour - the only display of it in this otherwise lightless album) and "Glass Walls of Limbo" sounds like someone swinging heavy chains against the floor is a disused factory, while deep chanting echoes throughout.

"Gravitational Constant", the final song on the album and the most riff-oriented, leaves us with an impression of depression as the poignant lyrics and music combine as Peter screams "Suicide is self-expression" before descending into the ending sequence as the keyboards unite as one with the soaring, chanting vocals in a combination of finality, pain and even majesty.

Slow, Deep and Hard captures Type O Negative at their rawest and angriest, before they added more melody and accessibility. I wouldn't advise casual listeners to start with this, but if you've heard the rest of their discography and want to hear where the band began, listen to this. You won't regret it.

An old ending is a new beginning. - 93%

DrummingEdge133, May 13th, 2014

So this is it....the beginnings of Type O Negative. Who would have thought from such crude (rude) and humble begins such a legendary band would be--not spawned, but evolved-- over many years and, unfortunately, over many tragedies. Slow, Deep and Hard is Peter Steele's bridge album, the album that connects his earlier younger roots of thrash and hardcore into what he would become, a deeply soulful and poignant musician later in his career. It's difficult to separate this particular work from his earlier band Carnivore, especially considering Peter Steele himself said that a lot of this album contains leftover material from said previous band. While you won't find me complaining about that for a second, since Carnivore kicked major ass, I am glad he evolved in the particular direction he did--to produce the black hole of depression that World Coming Down is (of course not glad about the pain he had to suffer through to conceive it). This also isn't to say that Slow, Deep and Hard is a cheerful, happy-go-lucky effort. Quite the opposite in fact, but it's a lot more angry and sinister than later efforts, since our protagonist here still has some fight left in him and ain't afraid to use the form of a jackhammer. To the head? Or perhaps elsewhere we best not think about.

Slow, Deep and Hard gives me visions of that dirty, marauding, raping, leather-clad brute and self-proclaimed Thermonuclear Warrior of the past seeing the wrong he has done, deciding to repent in his ways and rejoin the only bastion of civilization that still exists in the form of a dusty, decaying city. This lone city being surrounded by the barren, anarchistic nuclear wasteland from which he was spawned. Our Thermonuclear Warrior, being forgiven and taken into the city for the first time as a citizen, attempts to lead a normal life. He is given a job (probably driving a huge rusty dump truck around to clean shit up that he fucked up in the first place), and finds a girlfriend. Loves this girlfriend, gives her treats and gifts, like Nuka-Cola and packs of cigarettes he finds during the day--while cleaning up the city. Only one day he finds out that she cheated on him with the local bottle cap collector. This rather quickly sends him into a downward spiral of degeneration back into his old ways of raping and pillaging, but this time his weapon of choice is a still functioning jackhammer from the local city garage and sets out on a hunt to find the scumbag bottle cap collector to jackhammer rape his head in, for ever daring to invade on his female turf.

So on that note, you might be wondering what makes this album sound somewhat like a dejected bastard son of Carnivore. I mean, just look at those song lengths. A bunch of long songs about agony, depression and pain. Sounds pretty Type O Negative, yeah? Well, firstly, this album is a lot more raw and bare-bones than their later works. No big budget studio with a bunch of bells and whistles. This is totally stripped down, raw, angry and punky, and a lot of the songs do often have faster, up-tempo sections scattered throughout their long durations. For a clear example of this, just check out "Der Untermensch". After an industrial/ambient introduction, with bizarre percussive noises, the song transitions into a doomy jam with keyboards soaring in the background....then out of nowhere, an angry Peter Steele yells; "Hey you..on public assistance, why don't you get a job?" with a fast, driving guitar riff and a galloping drum beat assisting his anger. Continuing on from this, Peter Steele loudly rants in a familiar grumpy scowl from the Carnivore days, until the chorus yells "Socio-parasite!" and "Waste of Life!" in a hardcore shout. It's pretty clear that Peter Steele wasn't a left wing happy flower hippie after listening to "Der Untermensch", and apparently this song got the band into a bit of controversy back in the early 90s with certain groups of people. Taking this song together, out of context, with the old Carnivore song "Race War", and one can see the misconceptions. But they are indeed only that, misconceptions. However, as someone wise once said, no publicity is bad publicity, especially not for an entity like Type O Negative (or really any band worth giving a fuck about).

The songwriting of Slow, Deep and Hard reminds me a lot of the song "Male Supremacy" by Carnivore. A song released way back in 1985 by a supposedly very different band. However, the same man at the helm. So, it's no wonder the similarities are glaring. While the guitar tone of "Male Supremacy" is more speed/thrash sounding and Carnivore lacked keyboards, the songwriting had all the elements of what one would find on Slow, Deep and Hard. Fast sections, slow sections, doomy sections, angry sections, punky sections, dirty humor themes. Yes, love. Although, the love is a superficial, brutish love that you might find in say, post-apocalyptic The Road Warrior on hammered out plastic and a dirty old leather jacket (doubling as a blanket), rather than the Sleepless In Seattle by the fire on cozy silk sheets love of "Love You to Death" or "Be My Druidess" that signifies mid-90s TON. They (d?)evolved apparently.

Peter Steele was always heavily influenced by Black Sabbath and that can be heard in Carnivore and Type O Negative on many different occasions. However, he always expressed love for the hardcore scene of 1980s New York too--such as bands like Murphy's Law and Agnostic Front, and those hardcore elements lingered into the very early days of Type O Negative, perhaps by mistake. Based on interviews, Peter Steele said he kind of regretted Slow, Deep and Hard for a handful of reasons. Firstly, it gave everyone a rather warped view of what Type O Negative was supposed to be, or the general vision they had for the band. The reasons for this? As I mentioned, because of the Carnivore and hardcore influences, but also because this album was originally only supposed to be demo material. As Peter Steele said, "I was drunk and pissed and wrote the whole thing in 4 hours. Little did I know that demo would be pressed into an album." 4 hours? Really? How can someone write such kick ass stuff in 4 hours and then hate it too....maybe Peter Steele was an alien and he just went home.

While Slow, Deep and Hard certainly does have a lot of fast sections, there are a lot of ultra doomy parts scattered throughout the album as well, which gives Slow, Deep and Hard a bit of a schizophrenic feeling--like this particular individual is struggling with a wide range of conflicting emotions in dealing with something that would be particularly devastating to any of us, if we truly loved, cared and had strong feelings for our significant other. The doom sections have a very unique guitar tone to them, a tone that I've not really heard before or since. The guitar tone and riffing in the doom sections is sludgy, crushing and depressing, but also a bit fuzzy, thin and spacious.

When adding the extra dimension of Josh Silver's often wailing keyboards, it creates a musical atmosphere that is purely unique to its time, place and personnel. The atmosphere brings up images of a dirty, grimy and abandoned subway in a dejected, cesspool section of New York City, due to the anger and native punk attitude, but with the depressed and in-the-gutter feelings of Type O Negative gushing through every cracking crevice of concrete. For example, when that melody-tinged keyboard line enters in mid-way through "Unsuccessfully Coping....", it creates such a delicate atmosphere that I've never heard before. The riffs and guitar tone are so doomy and sludgy, yet the keyboards simultaneously adding a touch of beauty, grandeur and awe to an otherwise miserable song. Only this band....this one band....called Type O Negative, has ever been able to genuinely capture that juxtaposition of emotions and experiences of misery and beauty, and mix them together into something not only coherent, but transcendent and moving beyond words. That's what Type O Negative does for me.

I don't want to give readers the wrong impression about Slow, Deep and Hard though, as it does have elements of what we have come to recognize as signature Type O Negative moments. For example, take the mellow, lustful interlude toward the beginning of "Unsuccessfully Coping...." with the woman moaning out "ugghh ooooh" and the clean guitar strumming going on under her moans, which reminds me of songs like "Christian Woman" and "Black No. 1". Additionally, there are other scattered moments of clean guitar passages, such as the ending to "Xero Tolerance", that remind one of other future moments in classic songs like, again, "Christian Woman" and "Blood & Fire". Peter Steele does also give us sonic glimpses of what his vocal performances would develop into on subsequent albums, especially in the closing hums of "Gravitational Constant", among other scattered moments. His vocals in the waning moments of "Gravitational Constant" are the more familiar deep groan we've come to expect, but these deep groans only manifest infrequently.

To sum up Slow, Deep and Hard, it could really be looked at as a primitive and underdeveloped attempt at what Peter Steele and Type O Negative were truly striving for, and due to his fast and rushed attempt, we got something curiously odd and unique--an ugly red Carnivore duckling with beauty marks of Type O Negative green. I often think about and contemplate the future of Type O Negative, even though there isn't one....except for what's in the past. But I don't care, I don't consider it a waste of time. It's what drives the imagination. In an older review I wrote a few years ago, I titled it, "A Glimpse of What Could Have Been..." and this is exactly what I mean. I wonder how Type O Negative would sound now....if Peter Steele hadn't tragically died. Later this year there is a biography being released about Peter Steele's life, and I am eagerly anticipating its release. The book is titled; Soul on Fire, and I could not imagine a better name for a biography of Peter Steele. After all, he gave us the title in an unforgettably fiery song several years back, one of the last masterpieces he ever wrote. And from what I already know of his life, I can imagine his story surpassing even that fire and passion, for both good and ill. In an old interview I recently read, Peter Steele was asked about life and death (and suicide) and this is what he said; "I don't think that life is sacred. I think that life is pretty much a waste of time." Peter Steele was always a brutally honest and sincere man, it seemed he never held back any details about his life (or what he felt and thought). That includes even the most personal and depressing, or troubling aspects, which became integral to Type O Negative's music. And maybe he's right, hell....he probably is, but he sure did waste his life well--if only we all did.

RIP Pete.

Waste Of Life - 96%

Thumbman, November 29th, 2013

After the demise of highly politically incorrect thrashers Carnivore, Peter Steele came in full force with a project of a different ilk. After multiple name changes, they finally decided on Type O Negative after Pete heard an add asking for blood donations. Although this does retain some of the gritty edge and aggressively offensive subject matter found in Carnivore's furious onslaughts, thrash is resigned to a distant supporting role while doom slowly but surely trudges its way to the forefront. In the drab four's first offering they mix many flavours together, culminating in something that is both very fucked up and very fun. 

The record blasts into existence with what is no doubt one of Type O Negative's most memorable tunes. Despite clocking in at over 12 minutes, "Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty of Infidelity" boasts one of the catchiest choruses you'll ever hear on a doom album. The whole song is one of the most theatrical and powerful things Pete has ever managed. Many people have said that this work bridges Carnivore and Type O's more widely known work, and they would be absolutely correct. The gritty exterior is still there, they still clearly don't give a fuck who they piss off (with lyrics like "Poor Tawana gets born with a birth defect, But it only increases your welfare check", "Der Untermensch" has been accused of harbouring racist attitudes) and the music still carries a hardcore kick. The one thing that differentiates this from Carnivore is that the thrash has largely been swapped for doom. Although this record does have some fast sections, lumbering dirges far outweigh energetic outbursts. When the fast parts do come in, the occasional double bass drumming steps in to bolster the intensity.

The music carries a distinctly New York sound. The hardcore influenced parts sometimes bring to memory NYHC legends Fear. The music definitely evokes the excess and unwashed underbelly of a big city. Somewhat of a gothic influence is present, although nowhere near to the extent of their later records. This is not the gothic influence of Victorian romanticism, but of the grittier, more fucked up type you might hear in a dingy New York club in the 80s. Pete gives a confrontational vocal performance, angrily yelling about failed romance and his plans for revenge. However, he does perform more traditional (albeit very deep) singing every now and again. In "Prelude To Agony" he performs a disturbingly low, almost ritual-like chant, which really ends up making the song a highlight of the record.

Adding to the long song length is grinding, industrial-laden droning distortion that some detractors have derided as being filler and unnecessary padding. However, these parts add to the fucked up atmosphere and actually help give the album an off-kilter charm. Likewise, the 6 minute long atmospheric piece "Glass Walls of Limbo (Dance Mix)" (if you do feel the urge to dance to this, you should probably cut back on your drug use), remains one of the most common criticisms to this record. Critics say it is to long and decimates the flow of the album. While it is not hard to understand why one might see it that way (I honestly was underwhelmed by it at first listen), over time it does reveal itself to be an important part of the album, reinforcing a dark and violent atmosphere while not withering down into tepid monotony. Another common complaint about this album is the brilliantly named track "The Misinterpretation Of Silence And Its Disastrous Consequences", which is, unsurprisingly, a (thankfully relatively brief) short interlude consisting solely of absolutely nothing. If the title alone doesn't make it worth it, it is the second last song on the album, almost making the final track not unlike a (poorly) hidden track at the end of the record.

Slow, Deep and Hard is not just the debut record of a great band attempting to find their sound. Although this does sound worlds away from their later work, the sound here is fully realized and is much more than mere hinting at future greatness. While undeniably catchy and fun in parts, this album is grittier, more visceral and often more intense than much of their later work. Type O Negative have always been a theatrical outfit, and here it is more true than ever. Pete's dark humour is at its best here. Although not their absolute best, this remains one of their most accomplished and memorable works.

A near complete work of art. - 95%

tshred666, October 12th, 2012

This is one of those albums that makes me think about the relationship between the music and the lyrics, and more specifically using both to tell a story. One can easily tell a story through lyrics, but it is significantly harder to further apply the story to the music itself, which is where we find ourselves with this album, a complete and vivid lyrical storybook, but the the through and through mish-mash of doom, industrial noise, punk, and thrash creates a very eclectic and haphazard ebb and flow. Granted, there's isn't a weak moment on here (and I'd argue that this is their most consistent record, second only to World Coming Down), but the mix and match riffing and composition creates individual but closely related stories as opposed to a singular whole.

The only weak point here is the production, but this is a minor issue as the music itself carries a good deal of weight. The late great Peter Steele is the one who carries the vocal torch, as Kenny, Josh and Sal make their vocal presence through your standard punk/hardcore gang vocals. The vocals are placed mainly over the fast thrash/punk sections, with Peter emitting a wholly savage baritone shout that rivals even the greatest death metal vocalists, and, unfortunately, reserving his amazing bass chants for the doom sections of "Prelude to Agony". And like with every other Type O release, Peter's distorted and grizzly bass lines stick out like a battered and bruised thumb, but being a bassist I can't complain, it's part of the TON charm.

Lyrically, the only odd duck, and coincidentally my favorite track, is "Der Untermensch". I don't know what it is, but this track speaks the most to me, both lyrically and musically. From the explicit Sabbath worship to the strange industrial noise to the blistering and beautifully anti-PC hardcore rage, it just oozes hatred. While some may see this as racist, I see it as a blending of dark humor and a huge middle finger to the limp-wristed stances of modern liberalism. Even as someone who's left-leaning, I share Peter's hatred of all these border-line socialists and bleeding hearts that think rich white men are still the oppressors of "minority" groups and the working class.

For those that like their music eclectic and filthy, this is definitely an album to check out. For you doomers and sludge fans, this is an essential. Some fans of thrash, punk, and hardcore might also find some enjoyable moments here as well, but if you want TON at their "punkest" you should also check out the more user friendly but still highly enjoyable "Life is Killing Me".

~Until next time, keep it heavy and carve a hole that cheating sluts forehead,
sincerely, your friendly, neighborhood douche-bag.

Unjustifiable Existence - 90%

TowardsMorthond, July 12th, 2012

A frightening and bleak perspective on human existence in the context of modern urban dysfunction and desperation, Type O Negative's Slow, Deep and Hard unites the primal nihilism of vocalist/bassist Peter Steele's previous outfit Carnivore with a theatrical gothic sense of nightmarish despair and haunting sorrow.

"Do you believe in forever?
I don't even believe in tomorrow
The only things that last forever
Are memories and sorrow"

These are lengthy compositions constructed of various sections that function as diverse perspectives on a defining theme. The songs explore a great deal of stylistic variety within complex structures, and within that variety discover an impressive range of mood and expressive intensity unified by the prevailing concept of negative perspectives on the condition of human existence. Caustic hardcore punk, rabid speed metal of merciless urgency, unbearably slow oppressive and ominous doom metal like a nightmarish descent into the abyss of human despair, sensual gothic metal of an erotic and morbidly ceremonial quality, creepy industrial sound effects of various electronic and mechanical sources, and melodic pop-style choruses with an anthemic character backed by a catchy beat, each find an essential role in the sound. The resulting effect of the music derives not from the basic variety of styles combined into each song, but the dramatic interplay between them, which suggests a sequential emotional logic in response to particular human experience.

"There is no pain like that of desire
Is there no difference between women and fire?
One burns the spirit
The other the flesh
Is sex worth the price of certain death?"

The savage, threatening howl of Peter Steele provides this music with an unsettlingly intense emotional presence at times terrifying and alarming. His abrupt maniacal rants, tortured moans and violent episodes of psychotic rage powerfully express a deep, boiling tormented frustration and hopelessly damned desperation. Militant gang shouts and deep baritone ritual chants add dramatic emphasis through pronounced accents in interaction with the lead voice. Occasionally ludicrous to the point of twisted comedy, the expression is only more disturbing because of the apparent ambiguity of communicative intent, mocking the line between murderous madness and sinister humor.

"I got a pickax in the trunk of my car
I'll put it on the grinder to get it real sharp
There's an ugly green monster in my head
Won't leave me alone
Until you're dead"

A distinct guitar tone of barely harnessed electric noise, screeching evil distortion organized in riffs rooted in the tradition of hardcore punk and dreary Black Sabbath doom, keeps the element of distress present throughout, with wailing solos commenting briefly on the unity of filth and agony permeating this music. Steele's iniquitously distorted bass adds a quality of foundational derangement, particularly during the movements of absurdly slow passages of immense doom, the effect of which is emphasized cleverly and powerfully by sudden bursts of thrashing abandon.

"Now I feel the weight of a world on my back
I've seen the future
The future looks black
It's what I must do
I have no reservations
Ain't talkin’ 'bout self preservation"

Vital to the dramatic effect of the music is Josh Silver's keyboard, from which emerges an array of conceptually reflective sounds, from the outrageously totalitarian and horrific soundscapes to the loony psychedelic organ riffs and new wave melodic synth melodies. Other dramatic effects include monastery ceremonial chanting, the sound of numerous heavy chains dragged along the path of a doomed existence, a jackhammer applied in murderous fantasy, and female orgasms, all presented with impressive theatrical flair.

"Been doing some thinking and I have an answer
To arrest the spreading cancer
Send you back to where you came from
Get the fuck rid of you (sub)human scum"

These themes of moral degeneracy, social and political manipulation, and the tormenting agony of lustful impulse, are blatantly personal and carry the weight of existential burden through cries for the universal punishment for humanity cursed to a miserable existence of endless want and need. Though morbid humor accompanies much of the intentionally offensive tirades against social system abusers and insane entertainments of violent vengeance on unfaithful lovers, the pain and dread is abundant and strikingly authentic. Its context of fear and anxiety is the modern inner city, but its message ultimately transcends particular circumstance for the universal condition of all humanity: the monumental conflict of existence in both its physical and spiritual dimensions.

"So what if I died a thousand deaths
You think I'm insane but I have no regrets
One more time won't matter no question
Suicide is self expression"

Thundering in its heaviness and primal in expression, often repulsively exciting in its barbarous thrill of violent release, Slow, Deep and Hard is this band's most merciless, perverted and grim account of suffering. It is ridden with personal terror and mortal anxiety, but nevertheless maintains an aggressive sense of defiance in the midst of its internal crisis. While much of this carries over the traumatic anger and obnoxious controversy of Carnivore, what defines the sound of Type O Negative on this album is the interplay of vulgarity and a sort of tragic romanticism, though this latter quality is often overwhelmed by the monstrous impact of the former, and most frequently and directly expressed in the music's sorrowful events. It is the meaning discovered within this interaction between the depraved turmoil of human existence and the tragedy of its profound yearning for deliverance that makes this a penetrating and enduring album.

Absolution. - 100%

hippie_holocaust, March 24th, 2012

The “four dicks from Brooklyn” made their angry, energetic debut with sharpened axes and some serious fuckin attitude on this 1991 slab of heavy metal machismo. Throughout their long and successful career Type O Negative consistently made timeless music whether it was dirgy gloom and doom, heaving hardcore or even their tongue-in-cheek “Drab Four” goth-pop (My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend, anyone?) Paul McCartney was a man who knew how to write a good pop song, and in that vein of thought, so was Peter Steele, his lyrical prowess and knack for writing heavy yet catchy lead-bass hooks only got better with age.

The anthemic “I Know Your Fucking Someone Else” requires no explanation from the likes of me, as previous reviewers have dissected it with careful detail. I will touch briefly on “Der Untermensch,” that infamous and politically charged rant that caused Pete and crew a couple headaches with its worldwide misunderstanding of lyric. Can we really ever say what we mean? It’s an age-old question, but Mr. Steele would go on to bear the brunt of his own brutal honesty time and time again. The best reference point for this oft-misinterpreted piece would come on ‘93’s Bloody Kisses in the form of the song “We Hate Everyone.” Misanthropists need not discriminate. On to “Xero Tolerance,” the moody, masterful synth work of Josh Silver sets the creepy tone for axe-murder. The Silver/Steele (de)compositional duo was truly unstoppable in creating some of the doomiest, most oppressive sonic landscapes of black and green. And Kenny’s occasional yet always tasteful tickling of the twelve-string is an added delight. In fact, Kenny Hickey is one of the most overlooked features of this band. His solos are memorable and he never wanks about like some of the more well-known six-stringers out there. The tone of the electric guitar and bass here is simply like no other album of its time, or any time, for that matter, as it electrocutes with razor-blade poignancy, perhaps making this the overall most metallic-sounding album of Type O’s vast catalogue.

This brings us to the towering and triumphant brute that is “Prelude to Agony.” Peter Steele was a master of creating atmosphere by using a simple yet powerful form of expression: breathing. The act of drawing breath, a sigh, a cathartic exhalation, can be a thing of unmatched heaviness. This technique came to the fore with later works such as “Christian Woman” and “Love You to Death,” but the opening moments of “Prelude to Agony” convey pure fucking emotion, be it anxiety, dread, or even some kind of dark relief. The ensuing doom is immeasurable in weight, and flows brilliantly into an ass-kicking triplet groove, complete with some of Steele’s finest lyrical offerings. “There is no pain like that of desire. Is there no difference between women and fire?” Goddamn, Pete. The monk-like chanting of the word “absolution” gives me goose bumps every time. This is a band that gracefully maneuvered from genre to genre, but when they did doom, they did it unbelievably well, causing the listener to actually FEEL doomed. This piece is a monument of the duality of human nature, as painted with an array of hues from triumph to despair, the struggle finally resolved in the tormented two part suite, “Glass Walls of Limbo (dance mix)” and “The Misinterpretation of Silence and its Disastrous Consequences.”

“Gravitational Constant: G = 6.67…” concludes the album with riff after skull-crushing riff, and the Bensonhoist Lesbian Choir leaves us with more than a glimmer of hope at the close of this massive saga of betrayal, rage, and vengeance. Slow, Deep, and Hard captures Type O Negative at its most crass and unapologetic moments, that is, its conception and infancy. This is raw, youthful and ultimately uplifting music that has inspired me countless times and will continue to do so for years to come. Peter Steele, The Green Man, The Prophet of Doom, has left us with a monolithic tome of pain and beauty, a legacy of life immense. Thank you Peter, you are missed.

Type O Negative in The Raw - 90%

WhoahVal, October 10th, 2010

In Type O Negative’s first and most primitive album, “Slow, Deep, and Hard,” we find the band in a form seldom heard in their following releases. Written in just a few hours by front-man Peter Steele, the album is based on material originally meant for his recently split-up hardcore outfit, Carnivore. Hence, the album contains songs that are more guitar-oriented and aggressive and features production that is notably much more stripped down and raw than what would soon characterize the band’s sound. This is far from your average hardcore album though, as there is plenty of dynamic and a quite a bit of experimentation with what would soon become par for the Type O Negative course. You’ll be hard pressed to go too far into any song, most of which are quite lengthy by the way, without finding a grinding, doom-ridden section, an industrial soundscape or a melodic keyboard flourish from Josh Silver.

Lyrically, the album is not for the weak at heart, as Peter’s infamous tongue-in-cheek black humor is in full force here. Thankfully only loosely based on a true story, many of the songs combine to tell the tale of Peter finding out that his girlfriend had cheated on him, going into a blind rage, killing her and his replacement, falling into a deep depression and soon after, killing himself. Others, namely “Der Untermensch,” are a hate-ridden diatribe from Peter on his feelings about the “social parasites” that live on public assistance. Less violently and more subtly, his trademark humor can also be found in the “dance mix” of “Glass Walls of Limbo,” which features 6 minutes of ambient noise, and “The Misinterpretation of Silence and its Disastrous Consequences,” which, you guessed it, is just a minute of silence.

Although stylistically different than the romantic, Beatles-meets-Black Sabbath sound that made Type O Negative famous, “Slow, Deep and Hard” is a worthwhile effort on its own merits. The opener, “Unsuccessfully Coping” and closer “Gravitational Constant” may be amongst their better songs. This album is sure to please any hardcore fanatic with an open mind, or any fan of Type O’s later material looking for something a bit more aggressive. To get a feel for what the band really is about though, may I suggest "Bloody Kisses" or "October Rust."

Suicide is self-expression! - 94%

flexodus, January 22nd, 2010

Yes, here the legend of Carnivore ends and the all-new legacy of Type O Negative begins. Carnivore will always be a personal favorite of mine when it comes to thrash metal; songs like “Male Supremacy,” “Thermonuclear Warrior” and “Race War” defined my taste in the more obscure side of music. But all good things must come to an end, and the third Carnivore album everyone wanted was scrapped, while a new band was thankfully formed from the wreckage. And I must say: HOLY SHIT. Slow, Deep and Hard was the first Type O Negative I had ever listened to, and I obsessed over it during that period. In their early days, TON still held on to several of Carnivore’s musical traits, mostly the punky tempos and lyrics, as well as the habit of interspersing thrash riffs with heavier-than-Jesus doom metal moments. Here, bassist/vocalist/songwriter/prophet Peter Steele begins the slow road to fronting a brilliant doom metal band (later to introduce goth touches), and the result is the fastest, heaviest, angriest and most unique Type O Negative album out of their discography. Yes folks, this album is not meant to be forgotten.

Slow, Deep and Hard was pretty damn different-sounding when it was released in 1991, and it still is to this day, for that matter. Hell, Type O Negative’s entire general sound has never been successfully emulated, as Peter Steele manages to keep his dirge-like riffs, melancholy and/or enraged vocal style and subtlety ironic lyrics all to himself. The album features an extremely bizarre production that took me a while to grasp: the guitar tone is very electronic and not very organic sounding, rendering the riffs difficult to discern at first, while the bass has a distinct and glassy sound. This general production style would be kept for nearly all following albums, but on their debut, it is most striking and noticeable. Guitarist Kenny Hickey and drummer Sal Abruscato have a bit more edge to their playing than they would let on through other albums. Kenny plays with some fun, happy sounding riffs (such as the second half of “Xero Tolerance,” which would be made even better on the following live album), and keyboardist Josh Silver knows his place as well: provide an atmospheric backdrop only, never sounding overpowering or obnoxious. Lyrically, the album (almost) tells a saga about Peter Steele being cheated on, only to result with him killing his ex and her lover, and after a period of intense retrospection, offing himself as well. Oh, and the album cover is a distorted photograph of a couple’s “point of intersection” while having sex. So yeah, this isn’t exactly an album for Grandma.

Slow, Deep and Hard features song structures that feel like the (soon to be) standard TON songs taken to their logical extremes. Later Type O Negative albums would move at slow tempos with massive riffs, only speeding up once in a blue moon. Guitar solos were utilized only occasionally and briefly, and the songs contained darkly romantic vocal lines while the music seamlessly shifted from riffing to quiet, legitimately emotional parts. But here, everything is backwards: the speed is more or less evenly divided between slow and fast, and guitar solos normally appear once or twice in each song. The guitars and drumming feature an undeniable thrash and crossover influence, and Steele’s vocals remain in the realm of angry shouts, barks and whines, reserving his yet-to-be-mastered bass range for special occasions. Each song is decently long, and moves through many different emotions, tempos and contrasting sections. Yet the music never sounds random or overwhelming. Peter Steele is far too talented of a songwriter to simply throw in random and wildly-differing sections in together without regard for the end product. Every step correctly anticipates the next, and in the few cases the music transitions in a jarring fashion, it only adds to the charming naiveté of the album.

“Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity” starts off the album with a bang, a fun little ode to discovering your soulmate has been less-than-faithful. The song is nearly thirteen minutes long, but manages to be so interesting and encompassing it only feels like five. Moving from the punky verses to slow and intense doom riffs with definite ease, the listener is introduced to the first real surprise of the album exactly three minutes in. In this section, appropriately titled “Coitus Interruptus,” Kenny’s guitars very unexpectedly switch to an acoustic riff, and Peter provides an extremely memorable bassline, all while some broad moans and screams in sexual pleasure. Yes, you read that right: Type O Negative throws in a female orgasm into the very first song. Just as the sounds of sex are about to grow a bit too uncomfortable, Peter unleashes a pained scream, and the dirge resumes. Without the clever lyrics and fast riffing of the verses the music becomes depressing as hell, but this is remedied by the brief but excellent chorus. Peter Steele has done away with the earlier formalities and subtle wordplay of “Trust and you will be trusted/Says the liar to the fool,” and chooses to introduce a more direct way of expressing his emotions towards the women who has wronged him. “I know you’re fucking someone else!” Oh, and of course, you can’t forget lines such as “You had cock on your mind/And cum on your breath,” nor the crude backup vocals that provide the chants of “Slut! Whore! Cunt!” The song becomes brilliantly offensive (in case the woman in heat hadn’t already done it for you), but then transitions into one of the most beautiful moments in Type O Negative history. Josh Silver comes out into the limelight at 7:28, and Peter introduces what would become his trademark voice: a deep, romantic, rumbling sound with an eye for melody. Not to be outdone by anyone but himself, he shortly trades it for an accent that sounds like it came right out of an English pub, with lyrics to boot. Finally, the chorus returns and the band makes some subtle changes to it, before the song ends with the polite sound of applause, presumably from the high-minded socialite types this music is meant for.

Yes, an almost innumerable amount of things have already occurred, and that was only the first song out of a total of seven almost as lengthy tracks. Every song is very easy to identify from the other, but this may solely be due to the fact that I’ve listened to Slow, Deep and Hard more times that I can count. However, there are two unique numbers: the back-to-back “Glass Walls of Limbo (Dance Mix)” and “The Misinterpretation of Silence and its Disastrous Consequences.” The former is an intriguing effort in the field of synthesized ambient music, which the band unfortunately hasn’t attempted again since. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a break from the sound of the rest of the album, and manages to not stick out of place too sorely. The latter is a minute of silence just to confuse the listener, in case you were expecting anything else.

The remaining metal tracks are all just as good as the opener, some managing to be even more awkward and greater than the first. “Der Untermensch” has some awesome interplay between the guitars and keyboards, as well as some hilarious yet misplaced over the top anti-immigration lyrics, a la Carnivore’s “U.S.A. for U.S.A.” “Poor Tawana gets born with a birth defect/But it only increases your welfare check!” “Xero Tolerance” is another classic, featuring that bizarre four note bass riff played ad nauseam, as well as another great solo performance by keyboardist Josh Silver. After Steele announces “And now, you die!” the guitar and drums come back, and it’s slow, heavy and depressing fun for the whole family. But at 4:06, Sal introduces another faster drum beat, and the album once again completely turns everything you thought you knew about metal upside down. The following part sounds like some fucked-up, cocaine-fueled take on a Beach Boys song, and it’s only made better by one of the most bizarre verses on the album: “Took some steroids and adrenaline/Finlandia vodka and hallucinogens/Mixed it with blood and orange juice/Liquid protein and ice cubes!” Honestly, if any other band in existence attempted to pull off something as weird as these moments on Slow, Deep and Hard, they would come off sounding like aural excrement. But somehow, Type O Negative simply has the vibe and songwriting talents to pull it off, and this is one of many reasons TON is among my favorite bands.

“Prelude to Agony” feels like the longest song here, and there is no question why. It is extremely violent and dark, maintaining a slow as fuck tempo for the most part. The band pulls out all the stops: the moody little bass intro and the bizarre Medieval-sounding chorus add a great deal of charm. But even better are the fast parts; the first verses ride a Motorhead-esque riff, while a thrashier one is used midway between the song. This latter riff is contrasted with the slower, more bassy sections that occupy the last four minutes or so, a horribly painful and intense segment titled “Jackhammerape.” The atmosphere is almost unbearable and stifling, and contains the best solo of the album. Those notes at 9:37 never fail to send shivers up my spine, sounding extremely morbid and dissonant. “I hope you enjoy this… AAAHHHH!” On the other hand, the album closer “Gravitational Constant: G = 6.67 x 10^-8 cm^3 gm^-1 sec^-2” is slightly happier sounding, being one of the few songs of the album that are still semi-regularly played live. From the opening lines of “One, two, three, four/I don’t wanna live no more!” to the crunchier moments in the chorus, all the way to the brilliant ending segment “Requiem for a Soulless Man,” it is one of the best songs Type O Negative ever wrote, and my personal favorite pick of this album. This is definitely a song that needs to be listened to, rather than described, because its unique, cheerily nihilistic vibe and shifting atmosphere is lost in translation on paper, perhaps even more so than the rest of the songs on Slow, Deep and Hard.

Once again, I have gone overboard in analyzing music that I love, but I suppose that is just a sign of just how much there is to say about TON’s debut. Nearly every moment of the album offers some fun, dark treat for the listener, assuming he’s able to brace the harsh marriage of sounds found all throughout the listen. Even though their next release, the fake live album The Origin of the Feces, mostly featured songs from Slow, Deep and Hard, it was clear even then that Type O Negative was leaving behind their thrash and punk roots in favor of a more goth direction. Nearly every album the Drab Four was to release would become an instant classic of doom metal, but their rough and abrasive debut still holds a place in my memory. It is bizarre, angry, heartbroken and certainly non-PC, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Bridging The Gap - 96%

IrishDeathgrip, May 4th, 2007

In lieu of Type O Negative's success as a slow, droning, romantic metal band, everyone needs to take a step back and think of where Type O Negative came from. This band is the brainchild of Peter Steele, mastermind behind the infamous thrash band Carnivore, and Josh Silver, metalhead and innovator of keyboards. If one were to listen to Carnivores first album and Type O Negatives last album, one would be confused. BUT - if one were to listen to Carnivores first album, then Retaliation, then Type O Negatives first album, and so on... well, the music would tell a story.

This album bridges the gap between what Peter Steele wrote in the 80's and what he began writing in the 90's and continues to write today. Slow, Deep and Hard, when looked at as a Type O album seems to be an oddball, because that band did not become well-known for it's trash metal. But, when looked at as a Peter Steele headed album, from the side of a Carnivore fan or a Type O Negative fan, well, it makes since.

On to the music... This album begins with a 12-minute opus that tributes the anger that most people feel when they find out about a lover cheating on them. Musically diverse and wonderfully constructed, it is a masterpiece of anger and angst in one piece. Then comes the song Der Untermensch, a long-winded, but poetic rant about Section 8 housing and the problem with illegal immigrants abusing our government. Once again, tempo changes, diversity in mood, and lyrical communication surpassing most thrash metal. The third track, Xero Tolerance, is fairly simple, yet it is catchy and clever. The fourth track, Prelude to Agony is another 12-minute practice in trying as hard as possible to be hardcore and doom metal in the same track.

There is one instrumental track which, in my opinion, is a great work in the field of synthesized ambience, albeit a simple one. After that comes a minute of silence. Well, they can't all be winners.

Now the final song on the album, Gravitational Constant, holds a special place in my musical heart because of my love for making light of serious subjects, especially suicide. The music is fitting the the lyrical content, but not in a way you would expect. If reading the lyrics without hearing the music one would be reminded of a slow blues song sung by a blind guitarist in a smoky bar. But when attatched to the music it takes on an almost satirical tone. The final line "suicide is self-expression" is... well, I laughed my way through the last minute of the album.

This is a masterwork that truly shows the anger and technicality that came from Carnivore, mixed with the angst and atmosphere that evolved into what we now know and love as Type O Negative.

Inconsistently Briliant - 92%

ADLombard, January 20th, 2006

Slow, Deep and Hard is not only the most metalic of Type O Negative's albums, it may also be their most under appreciated. Both musically and lyrically, Slow, Deep and Hard sounds more like a Carnivore album than anything Type O later released. The lyrics range from typical Carnivore anti-political correctness on Xero Tolerance to refrences to suicide and loss on The Gravitational Constant. While the latter style has since been Type O's hallmark, albeit with a tongue placed firmly in their collective cheeks, Peter Steele showed that his new band could more than compotently step to provide a backdrop for both lyrical styles on this album.

Unfortunatly, while Slow, Deep and Hard more than its share of excelent moments, the album drags at points and sometimes seems extremely disjointed. Glass Walls of Limbo breaks up the flow of this album and leads into a slilent track running just over a minute. These two tracks neither add to the atmosphere or feeling the album was building until this point.

Other than these notable flaws, the songs on this album hold together well, both internally and within the work as a whole. Rather than break up songs into shorter, more radio friendly tracks, Type O chose instead to record two songs over twelve minutes long and two more at or close to nine miniutes. Within these larger songs, Type O often explored more than one style and emotion, a feature somewhat lacking in later versions of these songs. This style of songwriting allows Unsucsessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity, Gravitational Constant:G = 6.67 x 10 ^-8 cm ^-3 sec ^-2, and Prelude to Agony enought room to really breathe. Consequently listenning to Slow, Deep and Hard gives you a deeper understanding of the emotions in the songs than any other Type O album.

Starting and finishing with its two strongest songs, Unsucsessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity and Gravitational Constant:G = 6.67 x 10 ^-8 cm ^-3 sec ^-2, definatly improves this album. It comes in telling you that it will be describing the end of a relationship and ends focused squarely at the feelings inside Peter Steele.

Instumentally this is the hardest and grittiest Type O album out there, while the keyboards prevent Slow, Deep and Hard from sounding as brutally agressive as say Carnivore, it is without question their least gothic and most metal album.

It really isn't slow (for a Type O album) but Slow, Deep and Hard has perhaps the deepest and definatly the hardest songs of any Type O release.

Impressive debut but still lacking something... - 83%

WitheringToSerenity, March 31st, 2004

The first thing that comes to mind with this release is how different this album is from their later releases. The first song along has more diversity than more of their later gothic rock/metal ? material. Certainly aren't confined to one genre, showing much more heavy metal, doom metal and even sometimes a bit of a punk vibe in their music and still maintaining a gloomy atmosphere for most of the album. The keyboards or synths remain a standard and might be used more effectively seeing as they aren't the trademark of their goth tag yet. As stated before, those only into their more accessible material won't find as much comfort here. Not a very concise album as the longer tracks that music fans will either tend to see as dragging or progressing. I think it varies by the song and time but normally the latter. Peter Steele also does vocals or even screams here in a much less eerie goth posturing vocal tone most of the time. The lyrics might not be the greatest or most mature, but they tend to have more personal meaning than later releases. They also fit this style of sloppy kickass heavy metal with slight gothic metal influence.

This album essentially was an experiment. Type O Negative tried different things, not particularly organized musically but a very enjoyable listen.
Unsuccesfully coping... just flows in so many different musical directions it surprises you Type O Negative didn't become a genre defying band. One other strength is that through this long song, tight yet somewhat sloppy riffage there are solo's!!! Der Untermensch is a perfect example of going from doomish tempo, to punk-esque verses done well with lots of heavy metal influence tossed in with their trademark keyboards and samples here and there. Cool bass riff ending too! Xero Tolerance is an example of not an amazing track, but its Type O having fun on stage jamming with mixing variety of rhythm tempo's with refreshing keyboard melodies and Steele's punk/metal vocals.

After the slow intro of Prelude To Agony, you are treated with one gloomy piece of heavy music with occassional metal flourishes remniscent of Paradise Lost - Icon/Draconian era. Think Bloody kisses doomish sound and multiply that. Glass Walls of Limbo another fairly uninteresting intro, builds into a better, darker atmosphere but never really reaches song stature. Just a variety of sounds with Steele's screams. Not very interesting at all. This follows by a track of silence which isn't such a bad idea after the last track. Great song name though! Gravitational Constant finishes this album on a high note. The same vein as many of the other songs but adds a bit extra. The background singing ands an extra special touch. Alternates from dark, doomish to optimistic metal or punk tones. All in all, a pretty damn good opening release. Lots of very good moments on this moments, but there is a fair amount of clutter that prevents this from a higher rating.

Favorites : Unsuccessfully coping with the natural beauty of infidelity, A Prelude To Agony, Gravitational Constant

Ugly...Menacing...Definitely NOT PC... - 100%

corviderrant, March 1st, 2004

How can I not like a band that titles a song "Unsuccessfully Coping With The Natural Beauty of Infidelity" and follows up by making it one of the heaviest, yet catchiest songs you will ever hear? And making it over twelve and a half minutes long and making it feel about half as long? Peter Steele's songwriting prowess was in full effect even at this early stage of Type O's evolution, but this is the album that will make all the Gothling girlies who fall at his huge booted feet run away as fast as they can in the opposite direction!

With its multifaceted and complicated arrangements--going from ultra-doomy to thrash metal to hardcore/punk-influenced riffs and even poppier moments all in the same songs--and with some of the most opporessive and malevolent keyboards ever recorded (black metal bands take notes!), as well as a hearty portion of industrial noise and feedback, this album was revolutionary at the time it was released. Unfortunately, Peter's trademark dry and sarcastic humor went over most folks' heads, and he was taken to task for songs like "Der Untermensch", assuming it was a racist song when really it was about welfare parasites in general, a condition that knows no bounds of color or race. But Peter didn't give a damn who he tweaked, and this continues on to this day, although not as obviously (reference "I Like Goils" on the new album).

The opening song alone, the previously mentioned "Unsuccessfully...", is over twelve and a half minutes long and goes through the whole range of feelings about discovering your other half cheating on you. Anybody, male or female, who has been cheated on and/or dumped in the past, will be able to relate to this opus. When Peter screams out "YOU! YOU MAKE ME HATE MYSELFFFFF!!!!!" and wordlessly howls his anguish near the end of the song, you'd have to be dead not to feel the emotion behind that. "Xero Tolerance" is one of the more sinister songs on display on this album, a tale of hunting down an unfaithful lover and killing her and her new boyfriend, and the way it begins alone, with a truly evil fuzz bass intro and Peter murmuring "Forgive, my love..." in that deep voice of his and chuckling menacingly will give you chills. "Gravitational Constant" has a very Danzig-sounding part near the end, and is another catchy number that they still play live to this day.

Utterly one of the best albums of that year, this was, and it also helped me go through the aftermath of an ill-advised relationship of sorts I was involved in at the time, so it holds sentimental value for me as well as classic music. Check this out, those of you who only know the new Type O material, you need to know the roots of it all.

The True Prelude to Agony - 93%

TekFox, February 4th, 2004

An early start for a band that... who knew would blow up with indescribably epic hits such as "Black No. 1" and "Love You To Death" but just a few years later. I say this being the "true prelude to agony" because that's just what this is. People have said for years that if it's real, its true.

Peter Steele was never a real life Romeo when it came to long-term relationships. His trouble with a previous girlfriend left him in the ashes of defeat, and sordid revenge when he exhumed, from the bottom his talents, a piece entitled "Slow, Deep and Hard."

Seven tracks, all explaining, in explicit detail, and at some depth or another (in terms of artistic talent and value,) his hate for the one he once loved. Not what you would typically expect from the Type O Negative you might be accustomed to nowadays. Definitely a 90º turn, genre wise, when speaking of this type of music they once were. Primarly the thrash metal influence, drove them from Four Dicks From Brooklyn to worldwide acclaimed Drab Four.

Before evolving into the what we now call the 'tongue-in-cheek goth metal' scene, this is what made Type O Negative from the first day we saw their names on the bill posters for the local shows at L'Amour in Brooklyn, New York. Some might not agree with this sound - especially if you were a later Type O fan, after 1993. If you found this album as interesting as I did, great. Hopefully you'll enjoy both worlds of Type O's artistic talents.